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4 Best Practices for a Microlearning Course

September 18, 2022

4 Best Practices for a Microlearning Course

Microlearning is a hot topic in training and development today, but what is it and how can associations go about creating it? 

Put simply, microlearning is a learning strategy designed to deliver content to learners in short, bite-sized and easily digestible nuggets. It can be anything from videos and infographics to a quiz to test your learner’s knowledge. 

So what does your association need to keep in mind as you begin developing microlearning opportunities for members? 

Understanding Microlearning

A microlearning course is focused on meeting one specific learning outcome – breaking down a complex or major topic into numerous bite-sized modules that allow the learner to take them in the order of their choice. 

The idea of “chunking” instruction into small bites to help the brain process information has been around since the mid-1950s, and the idea of breaking down training into learning objects has been advocated since the early 2000s. 

While there are plenty of reasons why your association should experiment with microlearning, the biggest benefits are:

  • Improves information retention.
  • Creates personalized learning. 
  • Promote learner engagement.

Ready to start creating microlearning content for your members? Here are four best practices to try.

1. Focus on One Learning Objective Per Module

A learning objective is a statement that describes what the learner will know once they have completed the course or lesson. For associations creating professional development, any given lesson may have a range of learning objectives. However, when creating a microlearning opportunity, it’s important that each module only focuses on one learning objective. 

You must choose your content wisely and not try to condense a whole day’s training into a 3-5 minute video. For example, if your organization wants to develop training on how to create non-dues revenue for your volunteers, one microlearning lesson would be to define what non-dues revenue is. 

When it comes to microlearning, focusing on one topic at a time will ensure that the learner doesn’t feel lost and confused.

2. Course Accessibility is A Must

The great thing about microlearning is that it can be done anywhere at any time. The learner does not have to be in a classroom, training or even in an online course. With this being said, when creating microlearning lessons, it’s important to make sure they are easily accessible on any and all devices and platforms. 

“Not only does this show your employees that you value their preferences, but it makes your training more robust and scalable,” says Bennett Winga. It’s also important to consider enabling offline access to your microlearning, as some learners might not always have access to the internet. 

3. Content Variety is Key

Today, people get their information quickly and in a variety of ways. Whether it’s highlights from Sunday Night Football, a LinkedIn post or TikTok reel. Microlearning is no different. Videos and text are very important in microlearning, but using them together effectively is what creates the magic. 

When participating in a microlearning course, the learner usually has about 10 minutes, so it’s important that the text, visual and media elements support each other. This will also help the learner process the information faster and retain the knowledge better. 

This What You Should Know About video is a great example of microlearning and how visual and media elements work together. 

4. Don't Forget about Learner’s Engagement

Who doesn’t love a fun game? When creating a microlearning module, adding in gamification is a great way to engage your learners. If your microlearning platform supports games, these are great ways to motivate your learner and test their knowledge of the lesson’s objectives. 

Related: Why gamification is more important than ever
Learn More >

But engagement doesn’t just mean gamification in microlearning, it’s how the learner interacts with the content. When a larger concept is broken down into smaller lessons, it becomes a great motivator for the learner, keeping your members coming back for more learning opportunities.

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Jennifer Neydon is Sidecar’s educational content producer. After over fifteen years of educating and inspiring students, she understands the impact of meeting the learner’s needs through meaningful content interaction and engagement. Jennifer is a certified educator and was awarded Florida’s High Impact Teacher by Florida’s Department of Education. She holds a Bachelor's degree in education from Southeastern Louisiana University.

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